To: Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson, LBCC
CC: Staff, CLB
You have thanked me repeatedly in public for the free water quality workshops I gave you back in 2000 when you first ran for LBCC. I did so not out of friendship but with the naive hope that this would help you to be a more educated Councilmember, hence more capable of making informed decisions.
At that time, only Councilman Wayne Baglin seemed to grasp the nuances, the subtle interaction of complex regulations, NPDES Permits, etc.
Sadly, nothing has changed except Wayne was run off of the Council, the object of a “Swift-Boating” tax exempt 527.
You have subsequently served both on LBCC for 7 years but also served on the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (SDRWQCB) for several years----- So you, of ALL Council members should know better.
I have no idea why you and the City Manager at the June 16th LBCC hearing went to great lengths to allege that if a State Marine Reserve included the zone around the ACOOP that the CLB would be liable for contaminated discharges. So you and the LBCC requested a Fish & Game exemption for the ACOOP zone.
You are wrong: I have already confirmed it with the SDRWQCB staff, the ACOOP has a “stand alone, separate” NPDES Discharge Permit as do ALL such secondary wastewater treatment facilities.
The Permit is issued and renewed by South Orange County Wastewater Authority (SOCWA), a parent or umbrella Joint Powers Authority (JPA) which has 10 members, Laguna Beach among them.
It is SOCWA that would be sanctioned, NOT the CLB, here’s the recent NPDES renewal from August 2006:
I don’t know if it was ignorance, an intentional ruse, an attempt to shelter or create a safe harbor for SOCWA in the future, or if it served some other political purpose---What it did was propagate a misconception, a red herring, create then solve a false crisis or issue.
I also am curious as to the purported research, the due diligence that you and the City Manager claim was performed. Worse, we have a supposed professional staff that was present and other LBCC members who have served on City Wastewater Committees and also served as our representative at SOCWA meetings. Isn’t there a knowledgeable person among you?
It is ironic that with all of the supposed water quality activists present, none caught it and didn’t correct you that night.
I think that you owe the citizens and those uninformed IMMEDIATE clarification.
The SMR process is already fraught with misinformation.
Now that the local newspapers have quoted you as a resource, this is the least you can do: Tell everyone the truth.